Fresh Hop Ale

Sometimes things work out better than expected. Although we lost part of the garden this year-notably, the part of the garden where the hops grew-I was able to use some of them in an IPA.

The beer in the picture is a little bit more effervescent than most of the bottles I open but it’s not an extreme exaggeration. This beer is a touch sweeter than is appropriate for the style but the sweetness comes from a different angle; there’s a green quality to it that I can only presume comes from the Galena (and touches of Willamette) hops that I picked and used that day. They generally say that hop plants won’t produce much in the first year but I got quite a few from the Galena. Maybe the hops don’t produce much in the way of bitterness their first year: I just don’t know enough botany to say. I can tell you that this IPA doesn’t have the strong bitterness qualities that are typically associated with NW IPAs, so it might make a good ‘gateway’ beer. The malts are a little overpowering though, so it might be too sweet for some people.

The nose is a soft one; this IPA is probably closer to a pale and maybe should be drank as such. A solid beer though and one that makes me wish I had more hops to look forward to next year. As it stands, I’ll have to take stock of the condition of the garden before making any plans.

Recipe for Fresh Hop IPA, 9/7/09
Steeping Grains
6 oz Munich 100
6 oz Munich
11 oz Caramel 80
Fermenting Sugars
7 lb Light malt extract- dry
3.5 oz Galena (fresh) @ 60
5 oz Santitam pellets @20
2 packets Rogue Pacman (new packets)
OG 1.082
FG 1.018
Put into secondary 9/17, bottled 10/8.
From my notes:
8.38% ABV! Wow. Be careful with this one.

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